Greetings, dear friends. It’s been awhile since I’ve written, what with all the heaving myself out from the depths of hell and whatnot. Moving, an inferno-circle all its own, is a great way to close your brain off to any creative thinking or insight-making it might normally be up to. But now that I’m settled, I feel compelled to address something that’s been nagging at me for several months. Really nagging, like one of those little plastic hang-tags that I only ever succeed in partially removing from my new underwear, so that upon wearing said underwear I am forced to spend the entire day slashing my delicate upper-crackal region with this intrusive plastic dagger that there is really no way to stop from torturing me until complete removal of all clothing layers is achieved. Which is hardly ever appropriate in public, especially when coupled with the fact that then I have to use my teeth on the used crack part of the underwear to get the goddamned tag off before replacing the layers. Nobody needs to see that. But I digress.
So here’s the plastic crack-dagger: Apparently, and this is not a joke, smartasses – people think that I am bitter. In general, sure, but specifically about Love. Several passing remarks of late have stuck with me – primarily they’ve come from women who really ARE bitter, who see in me some sort of kindred rage-spirit hell-bent on vengeance for all of Life’s and Love’s affronts. These have come in the form of a nasty jab at male-kind followed by an “amiright?” or a knowing wink, or a “girls-like-us-need-to-stick-together” show of solidarity that I do not feel. While I have made it plain and public that I do not wish to marry again, that sentiment should never be construed as Anti-Love. It is, in fact, decidedly Pro-Love. I fucking love Love. Hence my personal no-marriage clause. Marriage, in my experience, kills love dead. Almost immediately. The luckiest among the Marrieds come to a sort of cohabitational business arrangement focused on child-rearing and credit-building after the flush of new love is inevitably replaced by the flush of abandoned turds left by inconsiderate spouses. Two years is about the longest I’ve ever seen married people stay “in love.” By that time, the soul-seams are strained by resentment of things both spoken and unspoken. Socks on the floor, un-capped toothpaste tubes, wasted money, waning sex drive, in-laws, children….all of those things that EAT LOVE. And I like love, thank you very much – so I choose to pass on the rest of it.
Now, before the outrage starts pouring in accusing me of not knowing you or your marriage (which is obviously awful or you wouldn’t be nearly this offended), let’s be clear: I am not attacking YOUR MARRIAGE. I’m sure it’s lovely. I do not pretend to know your story. And of course there are a million wonderful exceptions to be found in the world. Beautiful aberrations. I hope yours is one of them. My authority comes only from my own experience and the ones I’ve witnessed that validate my opinion. The ones that don’t, I am choosing to ignore for the duration of this piece. In the immortal words of Miley Cyrus, “This is our house. This is our rules.”
So why the obsession with Forever? Why must a relationship always be Going Somewhere? You do know that that’s why they end the feel-good movies at the wedding bit, right? Would it still be a feel-good movie if they showed the part, 5 years later, where the husband won’t come home from work because he can’t take the nagging and the wife won’t put out because she can’t take the piles of his crap on the floor and the baby does nothing but alternate between scream-crying and shitting its pants? I can say with some certainty that nobody wants to see that movie, let alone be in it. So why is THAT the be-all and end-all? Seriously, what the fuck is going on here? Why can’t two people just love each other madly for as long as it feels like love, and then stop? Part ways peacefully, with both lives enriched by the experience and spared the damage that comes from staying too long? Why can’t people just have beautiful, passionate love affairs that last as long as they last without others imposing Judgment, – or worse, Eternity – on them? Why, when the mere thought of touching our partners makes the hot sting of vomit start to bubble up in our throats, must we stay? Why is society so intent on killing Love?
Please don’t get me wrong. Marriage, I’m certain, has served us well over the course of history and is an elemental thread in the fabric of human experience. I get that. And I am literally bursting with joy that we live in a time when Marriage Equality for gay couples is something that society is not only talking about, but DOING something about. But to me, that’s not really about Marriage, as much as a basic recognition of ALL human rights that have been summarily withheld from those who are deemed “different” by the rule-makers. I rejoice in my friends’ newly granted Right to Marry because if that is how they want to honor their love, they should be allowed to do that as freely as any other
dumbass human being. As more and more people come to accept both the concept and reality of Marriage Equality, is it really too much to ask that someone like me be granted Non-Marriage Equality without being accused of harboring the ugliest breed of animus?
I am not speaking out of turn here. I tried marriage. Twice, in fact. I just wasn’t good at it. The second time was the soul equivalent of a lube-free ass raping with a splintered two-by-four…I married a gold-digging psychopath whose clutches I would have escaped much sooner and with far more of my money, sanity, and stomach lining intact if not for that pesky Marriage Thing. The Protocol. The Next Step. The Contract. Where Everyone Must Go. I loathed the man with the fire of a thousand burning suns, and spent my every married day Jedi-Mind-Murdering him for fun (yeah, like I said, – I’m not good at it.). But not being good at marriage or refusing to watch that awful sequel doesn’t mean that I am done with Love. One has nothing to do with the other. The carnage that my marriage wrought stays obediently in its lock-box, and I am normally quite good at not assigning blame for it to anyone who didn’t actually do it – with one recent, dreadful exception wherein a very innocent and lovely bystander felt the business end of my icy-hot wrath for stumbling accidentally upon a trigger I didn’t even know I had. Now I know. And the profound regret I feel over that mutilated moment just serves to solidify my determination not to punish anyone else for the crimes of my former spouse. Because let’s face it – NO ONE could duplicate that shit.
So no, dear readers. I am not bitter. If you must know, I am ripe and juicy and aged to fleshy perfection. I am hopeful. I am open. I am soft. I’m a little broken, as most of us are. But the broken pieces sparkle far more than the flat pane of conformity that I failed to preserve. And if I’ve given up on marriage, please do not assume that I’ve given up on Love. I have not. Because that? I really am good at.
Really fucking good.
And they lived happily for as long as they were actually happy, with separate residences and complete freedom to choose the duration of their partnership. The End.